Happy Anniversary!

Eight years ago today, at this time, I was emailing and calling people to help me name a Facebook page through which I could share the message I was sharing with everybody at that time through email and my personal Facebook account.

I said to everybody, “Just give me different names that may correctly describe my message. When I find the right name, I will know it. Until then, just give me as many names as you may think of.”
My Berhan (my husband) and kids were tired of giving me different names. I wrote down all the names such as Sexual Purity, Husband & Wife, Family & Marriage, Sexuality According to Scriptures, Singleness & Marriage, and more.
At the end of Wednesday, October 30, 2013, I wrote down more than 40 different names and I sat down and kept reading loudly each name. Then my older son, Abel, said, “Mom, call it Appeal for Sexual Purity.”
The moment I heard that name, I said, “Bingo! That is it!” But something didn’t feel right. That “something” was the word “sexual” because knowing, understanding and living out the word of God comes first before sexual purity marks one’s life and sexual purity is the main way we glorify God, not the only way.
Since it was already late for me to go to bed, I typed all the names, saved them and went to bed. Then when I was about to fall asleep, in the middle of the night, my brain came up with “Appeal for Purity.” Without turning on the light so I wouldn’t bother my husband, I turned to my side table and grabbed a pen and a piece of paper which I always keep next to my bed, and wrote “Appeal for Purity” and slept right away.
The next morning, Thursday, October 31, 2013, the first question that came to mind the moment I opened my eyes was, “What was the name?” I couldn’t remember it but I remembered writing it down on a piece of paper. So, I began frantically looking for that paper and I couldn’t find it.
Apparently, after I wrote down the name, I thought I returned it back on the side table but I actually dropped it on the floor. So, I looked for it on the floor and found it. The problem was I couldn’t read it right away. I mean, normally, my handwriting is bad, to say the least, but I always can read what I write. But that morning, I couldn’t make any sense out of my handwriting on that small piece of paper. I panicked a bit and stared at the paper and then, I read it loud and clear!
I screamed saying, “Guys, I found the name!”
My husband and kids got used to my screaming early in the morning. My husband hardly opened his eyes and said, “Really? What is it?”
I said, “Hooray! It is Appeal for Purity! This is the name that very well describes the message that is in my heart!”
My kids were already up to go to school. So, they celebrated with me and I dropped them to school, my older son, Abel, was in middle school and two of my kids, Lydia and Biruk, were in elementary school. Since they went to the same small Christian school, I dropped them off quickly and came back home.
With the help of my Berhan, I opened a Facebook page with the name Appeal for Purity, this passage of Scripture being in my heart:
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NASB
I first began typing my first message. I didn’t have a title but it was just a three-short-paragraph essay about sexual purity. Then I pressed “Publish.”
How many followers did I have at the time? My hubby, kids and five or six of my friends.
The first comment Appeal for Purity Facebook page received was: “STOP!”
When we saw that comment, my husband and I were sitting next to each other. We simply looked at each other and smiled. We knew right there that the journey wouldn’t be an easy one but the most adventurous, fun and challenging one.
Have I ever thought of quitting on Appeal for Purity since I started?
Well, I will answer that question with this story:
One day, a reporter asked the late Ruth Graham, a wife of the late Rev. Billy Graham: “Have you ever thought of divorcing your husband?”
Mrs. Graham replied: “Divorcing him? Oh, no! Killing him? Yes! I taught many times to kill him but to divorce my husband, no, I’ve never thought that.”
Just like Mrs. Graham, quitting on A4P? Never! But killing A4P, yes, many times! I thank God for all these eight years!
Oh, Father, You are Faithful! Yes, You are!
“Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
When men rose up against us,
Then they would have swallowed us alive,
When their anger was kindled against us;
Then the waters would have engulfed us,
The stream would have swept over our soul;
Then the raging waters would have swept over our soul.”
Blessed be the Lord,
Who has not given us to be torn by their teeth.
Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper;
The snare is broken and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124 NASB
Praise God!
May the Creator of this Universe, my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, take all the glory, praise and worship! I thank Jesus, my Advocate and hiding place, every day for this ministry, called Appeal for Purity. Oh, how I love the message of Appeal for Purity! Oh, how I love the name, Appeal for Purity!
I also thank God for my kind and humble husband, Berhanmeskel T. Banko.
Oh Baby, how can I thank you enough! Yes, if you were not the one next to me, I wouldn’t be here today to type this. Thank you, my Love! Your love, care and encouraging words mean the world to me. The thought of sleeping next to you, being hugged by your strong arms, carried me through many long and challenging days! Yes, words just failed me! It’s okay. You know what is in my heart. So, thank you for being MINE! Thank you for being on my side!
And I want to thank my beautiful kids, Abel Banko, Lydia Banko and Biruk Banko, and now I have a beautiful daughter, my older son’s wife, Honora Banko. Oh, God! Who am I to be blessed by all these beautiful, God loving and fearing people! I am nobody but in Christ, I am somebody. I am a child of God. Praise God! Thank you my lovely kids for loving and comforting me all the way through. Above all, thank you for praying for me! It means a lot to me.
And thank you my lovely friends and followers! I know, some of you have been following Appeal for Purity since its inception. Thank you and may God bless you!
Well, let me bring it to a close but before I do that, this is a song, all my cells and nerve endings, it seems, are singing. It is an Amharic song, thanking and praising God for His faithfulness to see me through all these years!
ባለፍኩበት መንገድ ለኔ ተጠንቅቆ
እዚህ ያደረሰኝ ከክፉ ጠብቆ
እስከ ፍጻሜውም ያቆመኛል ጌታ
ሀገሬ (መንግስተ ሰማያት) እገባለው እምነቴ ሳይፈታ::
I think this song was sang by Tessfaye Gabisso (correct me if I am wrong here). Unfortunately this is the only part of the song that I know. If you know the whole song, please share with me in the comment section (preferably a YouTube link since I don’t know the song well).
Last but not least, it was on Wednesday, October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Electorate of Saxony in the Holy Roman Empire.
So, as we celebrate Appeal for Purity’s 8th anniversary, we also celebrate 504th anniversary of Reformation Day!
Luther was still a monk when he nailed the theses but he determined to stand for the truth that was shone in his heart:
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
Yes, the Reformation Day changed the whole world!
Sola scriptura (Scripture alone),
Solus Christus (Christ alone),
Sola fide (faith alone),
Sola gratia (grace alone), and
Soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone)
And this verse always rings in my ears whenever I read the five solas:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB
What a day to celebrate!
Happy 8th anniversary to Appeal for Purity and Happy 504th anniversary to Reformation Day! ///